Tag Archives: widgets

Gazette launches news widget

Gazette widget for Mac Dashboard in its default configuration

Gazette widget for Mac Dashboard in its default configuration

Gazette Mac Dashboard widget settings page

Gazette Mac Dashboard widget settings page

Today, The Gazette is launching a real 21st-century widget. I’ve tried it and am prepared to endorse it as “cool.” Not to mention convenient and helpful.

Those are the words of my boss, Gazette Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Alan Allnutt, welcoming the new Gazette widget for PC and Mac. And you know if he finds it cool, then …

It’s essentially a branded, customized RSS widget similar to what Cyberpresse launched a year ago. It just launched, so the features are very light – all you can do is choose which categories you want and then select between 1 and 4 headlines for each.

I’ll leave the reviews to people not currently employed by the paper: would you use this regularly?

Cyberpresse launches widget, fails

Cyberpresse editors are really excited about this new widget they’ve launched. There are versions for Windows XP, Apple Dashboard and Google Desktop. I tried the Dashboard version and I was rather disappointed:

  • They say it’s “really easy to configure,” which is true because there are only two configuration options: category and refresh time
  • Oh, and that “category” thing? You can only choose one. So if you want breaking news and health news, you’re out of luck
  • And the category list isn’t very extensive. It has hockey, for example, but no other sport. So if you want the latest Alouettes headlines, better try something else.
  • All of this could be made irrelevant by La Presse merely improving their RSS feeds and allowing people to choose the reader of their choice. Right now the feeds are limited to some very general categories and the blogs.

I know all the know-it-alls are saying widgets are the future of media online, but I don’t think this is quite what they had in mind.

This is 90s-era Pointcast technology, with a mindset to match.